Today, for the first time, an American President and the democratically
elected President of an independent Russia have met, and we did so not
as adversaries but as friends. This historic meeting is yet another
confirmation of the end of the cold war and the dawn of a new era.
Russia and the United States are charting a new relationship. And
it's based on trust; it's based on a commitment to economic and political
freedom; it's based on a strong hope for true partnership. So, we
agreed here that we're going to pull closer together economically
I invited President Yeltsin to come to the States for a state
visit; he accepted. He, in turn, asked me to come to the Soviet Union,
and I accepted. That will be later in the year. And he will be coming
in the first half of the year, the date to be determined later on.
We agreed to cooperate in the safe handling of nuclear weapons, arms
reductions, and a wide array of other subjects. So, from my standpoint
and the standpoint of the United States, our first team here, we
felt it was a very good visit. The only problem was, it was very
short. But we'll have a chance to follow up at the state visit.
And Mr. President, the floor is yours. And welcome once again, even
though you're heading off now down to the Hill to meet some of the
Members of Congress.
Mr. President Bush, ladies and gentlemen, I am very grateful to my
friend George for the words which he has just spoken, in terms of our meeting
and aimed at Russia and towards me. I feel that the meeting was exceptionally
positive, necessary, and historic.
We discussed a whole range of issues, as a matter of fact, those kinds
of issues that have never been exposed and opened many, many years
and many, many decades: issues of economic reform in Russia, as well
as cooperation and assistance so that this reform not die on the
vine, and issues having to do with the Commonwealth of Independent Nations,
economic issues having to do with the military condition now, the condition
of the military.
And on the initiative of President Bush and Russia also, we talked about
reduction of strategic and tactical arsenals down to the minimal
of, say, two and a half thousand warheads for either side. And in
this issue we will now begin very specific and concrete negotiations,
the issue of arms sales, of nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, issues
of the so-called brain drain, and a whole series of others. Now maybe
some very specific and personal issues, but I think having to do
with a relationship which really has a great importance. I'm very
satisfied that today one might say that there has been written and
drawn a new line, and crossed out all of the things that have been associated
with the cold war.
Today we are going to sign a statement or declaration on a new nature
or character of the relationship between the United States of America
and Russia. From now on we do not consider ourselves to be potential
enemies as it had been previously in our military doctrine. This
is the historic value of this meeting.
And another very important factor in our relationship, right away today
it's already been pointed out, that in the future there will be full
frankness, full openness, full honesty in our relationship both of
us value very, very much.
Thank you so much.